When it comes to mixing and baking, smaller and less powerful stand mixers like the Sunbeam FP SBH S030 have their own purpose. They certainly are not for big jobs.
I find a number of consumers end up disappointed with these cheaper stand mixers. While some seem to have valid reasons, others start out expecting more than what these tools can deliver.
There are a number of reasons people buy cheaper, less powerful stand mixers, from being a casual baker to being on a budget. And, it is important to match expectations with those reasons. However, oftentimes, even if you know what you need, you can never know how a gadget will fare until after you’ve tried it. This is where reviews can help a lot.
So, join me as I take a thorough look at this stand mixer in this review.
Let’s Have a Look at What’s in the Box
A package of this stand mixer includes the following:
- Mixer, detachable
- Stand with turntable
- Dough hooks
- 3-quart stainless steel bowl
The motor power at 250 watts is adequate for most mixture consistency. However, it’s not enough for heavier batters and heavy duty mixing. You will need at least 400 watts for bread dough. You might be able to use it a few times, but, I don’t think the motor will last. If you will be using it for tough dough, give it some rest every now and then to let the motor cool down.
Speed Settings on the Sunbeam FPSBHS030 Stand Mixer
This stand and hand mixer in one has five speeds plus a Burst of Power setting. They are quite high you may find you don’t need to go beyond number three on the speed dial. In fact, the lowest speed is not low enough for a number of users.
Now, you need to have a speed low enough for when you are adding ingredients because you don’t want flour or sugar flying around. But, there is a way around this.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Make sure to turn off the mixer before doing so. Then, fold the mixture a couple of times before turning on again. Depending on how busy you are, you may find this a bit of a hassle. You have to turn off the machine fold and then run again after each addition. Or, you can just bear the mess and clean up later.
One user shares in his review that when he creamed butter and sugar, he slows down the spinning by placing the palm of his hand on the side of the bowl. This means means you can’t leave it alone for certain types of mixing when a slower speed is required. However, if you need a budget stand mixer with good speed, this will suit you.
Below are the functions of each speed setting and the manufacturer recommendation for the type of mixing job suitable for each function. Treat these suggestions as a guide, because speed and function will vary from recipe to recipe.
- 1 – Stir. For stirring liquid ingredients or alternately mixing liquid and dry ingredients. Suitable for packaged instant puddings.
- 2 – Mix. For making quick breads, muffins and other recipes that require brisk action.
- 3 – Blend. For recipes that call for medium speed like cakes, and creaming butter and sugar.
- 4 – Beat. For preparing frosting and whipping cream.
- 5 – Whip. Use to mash potatoes, or when a light and fluffy consistency is required.
Types of Mixture and Volume
Just because this mixer comes with dough hooks doesn’t mean that it can handle heavy mixtures very well. When it comes to these less powerful stand mixers, don’t take everything at face value. You’ve got to look at the other specifications and evaluate.
Quite a number of users say they were able to use it for bread dough. However, it’s not smooth sailing. Either the motor burned out soon or the hooks snapped.
Some say that it gives off a smell, kind of like something getting burned, during the first few times of using it on bread dough. Well, that smell is a sign that the motor is being overloaded and something in there is indeed getting burned.
Also, with thick batters it may take a while for it to mix thoroughly. If you are going to try it on thick dough, better use it as a hand mixer.
But, it does a pretty good job for light to medium batters. If you only mix cake batter, beat eggs, whip cream or make cookies, this mixer will do. It’s definitely not for big batches or commercial baking.
Mixing Performance of the Sunbeam FPSBHS030 Stand Mixer
The gauge for how well a mixer can mix is whether the mixing action covers the entire mixture. The FPSBHS030 stand mixer is not capable of that because the beaters just spin on the center of the bowl and don’t move to the side.
For more liquid contents, there is not much issue, it will blend well. But, less liquid stuff will form a sort of volcano at the center and some are pushed to the side. You’ve got to call on your trusted spatula and scrape the side and bottom.
There is no motor that rotates the bowl. Rather the bowl locks into the turntable. A small plastic disc which is attached to the head of one of the beaters, presses against the bowl and turns it. This mechanism seems to work only for thin and light mixtures. Anything thicker, the bowl either will struggle to rotate or won’t rotate at all. You have to turn the bowl with your hand.
Volume is also a factor. Load too much or too little and it won’t mix properly. For bigger batches use a bigger bowl and just switch to hand mixer mode.
It’s better to use the unit as a hand mixer with dough hooks because the bowl doesn’t rotate with this attachment.
One reviewer pointed out that chefs in baking shows where top of the line and costly stand mixers are used, occasionally turn off the mixer and tell us to scrape the sides, too. Good point there.
Bottom line, you’ve got to once in a while help this mixer mix properly.
Features of the Sunbeam FPSBHS030 Stand Mixer
This is one of those combination hand and stand mixers. The main unit can be detached or mounted on the stand. Attaching and detaching the mixer is a two-hand process. To attach, tilt the cradle back, insert the mixer on the two slots and push backwards until it snaps. To detach, tilt the cradle back, hold the mixer with one hand and push the Release Button located on the neck of the stand.
Caution: Unplug the unit before attaching and detaching the mixer from the stand.
The mixer can be tilted up and backwards when on the stand. This is handy when adding ingredients, mixing manually or ejecting the beaters and hooks. This needs both hands to push the button on the side of the stand and then tilt the mixer. When the head lock button is released, the mixer locks into the “tilt” position. To lower the mixer, push the button again, lower the mixer and release the button. A clicking sound will indicate that the mixer is securely locked.
Caution: 1. Make sure the mixer is locked and secure on the stand before running the unit again or moving the entire assembly.
The bowl locks into the turntable. You hold the base of the stand and twist the bowl clockwise to lock. To remove, hold the base and twist counter clockwise. Some users find this locking mechanism cumbersome. Others like that it latch onto the base while others prefer to be able to tilt the bowl while mixing. However, this is the only bowl that can be used with this stand mixer.
Get an extra blast with the Burst of Power Speed for heavy mixtures. Do not use this continuously. That is why it’s called “burst”. The speed control moves sideways. This is not as convenient as the up and down speed switch.
Bowl rotation is not motor driven, but relies on an attachment on the head of one of the beaters to turn it.
The “heelrest” feature lets you put the hand mixer down in between uses without the beaters touching the counter top. This is handy when you add ingredients or do a bit of mixing by hand. A bowl rest tab lets you rest the hand mixer on the bowl’s edge for ease and stability.
The manufacturer claims that the handle is ergonomically designed to ease hand fatigue. I see that it is fully curved unlike some which have corners, but I don’t think it’ll help reduce fatigue that much to make a difference.
Material and Durability
The stand is made of plastic, the bowl is stainless and the beaters are chrome steel. The stand is sturdy enough to support the entire assembly.
A few users reported it stopped working way sooner than they expected. Majority of them said it happened when they were working on bread dough and some said they make bread with it. A couple broke their dough hooks. It does have a 1-year limited warranty and some were able to get replacements. Those who encountered these problems are only a tiny percentage of those who submitted reviews.
There are two users who related that the plastic attached to the head of one of the beaters fell off. A few others expressed concern if theirs will last.
At this price point, you should expect to periodically replace stand mixers. If you buy ten or twenty of this kind that’ll be equivalent to buying one of those expensive units.
Dimensions and Storage
The mixer itself is bigger than the average hand mixer but the weight is still manageable when used as a hand mixer. Although, some says it’s heavy. Well, it will depend on how big, strong and sturdy the user is.
Expectedly, the plastic stand is light. As a stand mixer it doesn’t take up a lot of space on the counter or in the cabinet. It can be easily stored and taken in and out of cabinets. This is convenient for those who don’t bake frequently and those with small spaces because you can store it afterwards to free counter space.
The Sunbeam FPSBHS030 weighs approximately 6.45 pounds and measures as follows:
- Depth: 9.6 inches
- Width: 14.3 inches
- Height: 9.8 inches
Attachments and Accessories
The FPSBHS030 mixer has few attachments. It includes only a pair of traditional beaters for most mixing jobs and a pair of dough hooks for heavy batters. They are not built for heavy duty mixing. The dough hooks are on the thin side.
The bowl is only 3 quarts and is not for big volume mixtures or for several batches in one go.
There doesn’t seem to be additional accessories that you can buy with this model.
- Sleek and modern
- Not too heavy
- Easy to store
- Does not take much space
- High beater speeds
- Burst of Power button for extra speed
- A hand and stand mixer in one
- Tilt head
- Easy to assemble and disassemble
- Bowl locks on the turntable
- Beaters do not reach the bottom and side of the bowl
- Needs manual mixing
- Cannot use other bowls
- Bowl’s locking mechanism is cumbersome
- Tilt head button is hard to push
- Beaters are hard to eject. Needs both thumbs to do so
- Mixer a bit difficult to lock and detach
- Slowest speed is not low enough
- Bowl does not turn with thicker contents and with dough hooks
- Gives off an offensive smell during the first few uses
- The plastic or fibreglass disc attached to the head of one beater can fall off
- Beaters and hooks are small
- Too many buttons and mechanisms to manipulate
- Light and dry ingredients easily get into the vents because they are in front. No way to clean the vents.
Sunbeam FPSBHS030 Stand Mixer Price
Very affordable for those who want a stand mixer but or on a budget. But, it’s not reasonable to expect that a cheap stand mixer can handle tough jobs or have sophisticated features and functionalities.
If you cannot afford those sophisticated and expensive models but want some convenience over a regular handmixer, then this will work as long as you know its capabilities and limitations.
This model is available in black and white. I know some folks want their stand mixers to match their kitchens. White looks clean. Here are the model numbers:
- Black: Sunbeam FPSBHS0302
- White: Sunbeam FPSBHS0301
I found another variant of this model in black (Sunbeam FPSBHS0403) and red (Sunbeam FPSBHS0403). It has 6 speed settings and includes a wire whisk. But, it costs over $50. If you’re after the 6 speeds and the wire whisk, you may want to consider the Hamilton Beach 64650.
Consumer Reviews and Ratings
I’m I noticed about some five-star reviews is that the reviewers do not really share their experience like what features they like that warrants a high rating. Their reviews often are short and general like “I love this mixer, works great” or “I have made bread and cookies and cakes” or “I gave this to wife and she loves it, she has made this and that”. Nothing there to make you gauge their true experiences.
Bu there are also some who gave high ratings and shared what they like, how the mixer performs, what they believe are its shortcomings. They are those who don’t expect too much from a stand mixer on this category.
There are also those who expected much and are totally disappointed.
The Sunbeam FPSBHS030 is for you if:
- You are on a budget, but would like to make baking a bit easier, faster and less strenuous
- You are a hobby baker, doesn’t bake a lot or only need a mixer for light to medium mixes.
- You don’t have much counter or storage space
- You don’t want a heavy stand mixer
- You are willing to do some manual mixing
- You are patient with buttons and controls
This stand mixer is not for you if:
- You will be making breads and working on tough doughs
- You will be using your mixer frequently (like daily)
- You want a stand mixer that will totally replace you
- You are a busy baker, e.g., baking is a business for you
- You get frustrated with buttons and controls
- You want a powerful and durable stand mixer that will last for years
The all-important question is: does it do the job? It depends on what type of job you want it to accomplish. Evaluate thoroughly.